Chapter 33: Playing with Fire
Song: Dangerous Woman - Ariana Grande
Hermione woke up feeling thoroughly refreshed, not even wanting to move from the comfortable bed she had fallen asleep in. She pulled at the sheets softly, enjoying the way they felt against her skin. She didn’t even remember falling asleep or climbing under them, but she felt so comfortable she didn’t even question it.
Her breakfast was already on the small tea table, the scent making her stomach growl with hunger. She slowly rolled out of bed, stretched, and made her way over to it.
She was still in her pajamas, fixing her tea, when a knock came at the door. “Come in”, she called out. Malfoy walked in. Her stomach fluttered lightly but she tried to ignore it.
Hermione stared at him in silence, waiting for his explanation for being there. Can I at least finish my breakfast before you kick me out?
“Morning”, he greeted her, taking a few steps into the room before leaning against the dresser, quite a few feet away. Keeping your distance for any particular reason?
“I see no need for you to return to the dungeons, you have permission to stay here from now on...if you’d like”, he told her, his eyes flashing up to hers. I can stay? She was flabbergasted. Nice clothes and hot water and a real bed. She had to be dreaming.
She stared into his eyes as he waited for her response before saying plainly, “I would”. I would love to stay here in this nice room and continue to pretend I’m not a prisoner here - yes, thank you.
He stared a moment longer before nodding and turning to leave, but she spoke up. “How was the party?“, she asked playfully. Don’t leave...
He chuckled quietly and without turning responded, “tolerable”. He closed the door gently behind him and then he was gone.
Why do I feel so comfortable with him? So natural? We barely exchange a few words and yet I feel at ease in his presence.
She was torn between actually wanting to be around him, and convincing herself she did only for the purposes of research. She had to figure out why she was here and what Voldemort wanted. No other excuses. She was on a mission, she was playing a game.
Her actions a few days before seemed to be successful, but she would need a book. A reason to be there.
Considering all the books in her room were muggle books, and she still didn’t know to whom they belonged (though she doubted they were Malfoy’s), she wouldn’t dare bring one into his study.
Hermione looked through the closet and selected a lightweight, cream colored sweater, a pair of jeans, and trainers. On her way to the library, she prayed to Merlin it would be open now. She pushed the doors and...they opened. Thank Godric.
She went straight to Section N and began to browse. It took her awhile to select a book, but she also didn’t want to show up to Malfoy’s study too soon after he had been in her room. She couldn’t be too obvious about her plan. He wasn’t that daft.
No, it needed to be subtle.
She slowly walked back to his study, talking herself up the entire way.
Without knocking, Hermione opened the door to his study, silently relieved that Malfoy was in fact there, and knee deep in papers.
He looked up at her - she felt the heat from his stare but refused to make eye contact. Instead, she walked directly to sit where she had previously, facing towards him by the fire. She crossed her legs confidently and opened her book, completely ignoring him.
Much to her surprise, he didn’t say a word. I suppose I shouldn’t be that surprised, he’s the most stubborn person I’ve ever met.
They sat there together for hours, Hermione fully delving into her new novel and Malfoy’s focus was unwavering from his work. It was almost...peaceful? Comforting?
Eventually, the sun began to set, casting orange and red light through the room, getting dimmer and dimmer. It shimmered against his hair, and she hated the way it distracted her from her story. Captivating.
She found herself staring, taking him in. Hermione continuously tried to ignore him because of how hideous he was on the inside. But outside...wow. He looked like an angel. A fallen one, but an angel nonetheless.
His eyes, his hair, his skin, his body - everything about him was absolutely beautiful. Not in a feminine way, but in a way that made you forget to breathe. Forget to think. Like he was the most magnetizing thing in the room.
Suddenly his hand froze where it was over a stack of papers, and she quickly glanced back down to her book. Shit. Shit that’s embarrassing.
Hermione hoped to Godric he hadn’t stopped because he felt her gaze, but deep down she knew that was exactly why.
“Like what you see, Granger?“, he asked, swiveling in his chair to face her, a grin on his face - teasing her.
“Yes”, she responded, fighting the blush in her cheeks, “the sunset is lovely”.
He narrowed his eyes in suspicion, “is that all?” No.
“Of course, what else?“, she said, her eyes quickly returning to the words on the page in front of her, although she wasn’t processing a bit of it.
She heard him rise from his chair. Shit. Shit. Shit.
His footsteps grew nearer, but she refused to look up until his feet were right in front of her. Malfoy leaned in until she could feel his breath in her ear. She shivered from the warmth. “I think that something else drew your attention”, he whispered, a gruffness in his voice now.
Hermione’s body filled with heat, her mouth going dry, other places becoming wet. She was mortified by the reaction that was out of her control.
Play the game, Hermione. Take control. This is his weakness.
“Well something has definitely drawn yours”, she whispered back. He hadn’t moved, so his ear was right next to her mouth as well.
She fought the temptation as hard as she could - to dart her tongue out and drag it over his ear. She had to play the game, but she couldn’t rush it. Couldn’t do anything she’d regret for the sake of winning. Hermione would never turn into a slag just for information. She was clever, not desperate.
He leaned back, his face now directly in front of hers, and the ability to breathe completely left her. His hands were boxing her in where she sat. “And what if it has?“, Malfoy asked.
“Something that distracted you from your work? It would have to be irresistible”, Hermione responded. She couldn’t stop herself from licking her lips. How do you do this to me?
“True, but despite my self control, I can be an insatiable man”, he said. What is that supposed to mean?
“What would you need to have self-control with?“, she asked.
“The irresistible“, Malfoy commented, using her own words. Their lips were closer now, though she wasn’t sure who had moved, or if both had.
“Why?“, she practically dared him. Am I irresistible?
“I told you Granger, I’m insatiable”, he said. His voice was growing almost hoarse and it made her quiver.
“Maybe you just haven’t been satisfied before.” Hermione was treading on thin ice, and she knew this. But she couldn’t be the one to stop whatever this was, not if it could give her an upper hand.
“I suppose there’s only one way to find out”, he said, eyes flickering up as if for permission.
Whatever she communicated back with her eyes, Malfoy took it as approval. Without warning, he moved forward, gripping her bottom lip between his teeth, tugging gently.
A quiet whimper escaped from her mouth and she practically died of embarrassment right then and there. Why does this feel so good when I know it’s wrong?
“Didn’t take you for someone who liked it rough”, he chuckled. Her breath hitched in response and then his lips were on hers. Molding them, soft but firm. It was heat on heat. Fire on fire. Two flames connecting.
Electricity shot through her body and it was like she lost all control. Her hands went to his shoulders, firm but soft, even beneath his button up. They roamed curiously, across his chest, around the back of his neck, up through his hair. She burned with a desire she had never known before.
His hands gripped her face lightly, the cold rings on her face contrasting sharply with his burning lips. They moved to her waist as he deepened his kiss, parting her lips with his tongue and it was...wow. Hermione had never been kissed this way before. It was divine.
One of his hands went to the back of her neck, lightly pressing her harder into his kiss, his other hand slid down her back, stopping just above her bum.
Almost automatically, her legs parted as he moved closer, pressing his front against hers. She moaned in shock when she felt a firmness pressed against her body. His.
Suddenly he pulled back, looking as if he couldn’t believe what he had just done. She was sure she wore a similar expression. He backed up a few steps, but she was already scrambling in embarrassment from the way she felt. The way she hadn’t wanted it to stop.
She grabbed her book from where it had fallen on the floor and practically ran out the door, slamming it behind her in her rush to escape.
As soon as she closed the door to her room, she locked it and slid down to the floor with her back against it.
Her fingers ghosted over her lips, which were still swollen from Malfoy’s against them.
She knew what she was doing. But she also knew she was playing with fire, and that never ended well. And yet, it was a risk she was willing to take. No, had to take.